Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

New Rules on Crossing the Border With Laptops

Slaw readers crossing the US border should read closely the folloing statement issued this morning by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

CBP Border Search of Electronic Devices Containing Information

(PDF, 10 pages – 4.87 MB)
ICE Border Searches of Electronic Media (PDF, 10 pages – 453 KB)
Privacy Impact Assessment: Border Searches of Electronic Information
(PDF, 51 pages – 6 MB)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced new directives to enhance and clarify oversight for searches of computers . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

UN Launches BASESwiki ADR Website on Business and Human Rights

[Editor update, Feb. 28, 2014: BASESwiki has migrated to ACCESS Facility:]

The United Nations has launched a new alternative dispute resolution wiki on business and human rights called BASESwiki, the Business and Society Exploring Solutions wiki:

“It is a forum where anyone can share, access and discuss information about the non-judicial mechanisms and resources available around the world to help companies and their external stakeholders resolve disputes. It will be a resource for all stakeholders – companies, NGOs, mediators, lawyers, academics and government officials. It will be an interactive forum, built over time by and for its

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Canada Revenue Agency to Audit Canadian eBay PowerSellers

Canada’s Minister of National Revenue recently announced the Canada Revenue Agency’s intention to audit certain Canadian sellers (so-called high volume “PowerSellers”) of products on eBay, which is the world’s largest global online marketplace. The Canadian tax authority, which has long been concerned about a lack of tax compliance in respect of electronic commerce, wants to determine if those sellers have properly reported the income earned from their online sales.

The Canada Revenue Agency’s decision to audit the eBay sellers follows a series of Federal Court decisions confirming the tax authority’s ability to force eBay’s Canadian companies to disclose the names . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Well Worth a Read – George Paul’s “Foundations of Digital Evidence”

George Paul says that digital record keeping has caused an evidentiary crises of societal proportions and that it is our responsibility, as lawyers, to find a resolution – to find a way of effectively testing the authenticity of digital records so they do “what people expect them to do,” and so that truth is found and justice done.

The American Bar Association published Paul’s “Foundations of Digital Evidence” in 2008. Paul is an American trial lawyer from Arizona with a deep interest in the evidentiary implications of digital information. He was kind enough to provide short interview this week, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Lessig Shuts Blog

Larry Lessig, noted law prof at Stanford and long-time blogger, has decided to close down his eponymous (I love that word) blog. He’s posted his last entry, setting out his reasons (baby #3, spam comments, volunteer technical support, new research project) which add up to blogger burn-out after seven years. Sad but understandable.

He’s not leaving the public arena, though (…as if…). He says:

This isn’t an announcement of my disappearance. I’m still trying to understand twitter. My channel at will remain. As will the podcast, updated as I speak. I will continue to guest

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

SCC Website – What’s Next?

A couple of days ago I was at the Supreme Court to discuss potential improvements to the Supreme Court decision website. Some of you probably noticed that over the last year LexUM greatly expanded the scope of decisions available on this site. We now have everything back to 1949, as well as everything from Ontario and BC back to 1876. If everything continues to go according to plan, all of the decisions ever published in the Supreme Court Report will be freely available online before next spring. With content becoming exhaustive, we are now looking to improve the feature . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

IALL 2009 Website Award Competition

The IALL 2009 Website Award Competition is now open. Previous winners:

2002 – HeinOnline from William S. Hein & CISG Database from Pace Law School (2 winners)
2003 – Intute
2004 – EISIL
2005 – Peace Palace Library
2007 – GlobaLex
2008 – WorldLII
[no winner for 2006]

Here is the announcement with all the details:

The International Association of Law Libraries’ 2009 Website Award Competitionis now open. This is an opportunity to nominate your favourite legal information website. The winner will be announced at the 28th Annual Course in International Law Librarianship in Istanbul (Turkey), 11th

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology

Statutes and URLs, Part 1

I had occasion recently to work with some URLs for legislation and was struck yet again by the peculiarity of fetching and “citing” statutes in this way when on or linking to the internet. I have some narrow, specific concerns, that I’ll talk about in this post; and then in Part 2 I’ll wander a bit in the land of speculation, to see how else it might be done.

Here and now I want to complain about long, illegible URLs, the kind that represent the raw output of queries to a database. This is not the first time by any . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Notes on the Panopticon

Simon makes a very good point. Some footnotes from this week’s internet eye:

How difficult is it to disappear, now that most routine life events require a login? Wired article:

Financially he was beyond overextended. A gadget lover whose spending always seemed to exceed his income, he had begun shifting his personal expenses to his corporate credit card — first dinner and drinks, then a washer and dryer, then family vacations. In early February, when an Eaton official emailed to inquire about his expense reports, he felt everything closing in. He began devising a plan to escape.

Even . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

25 Years of PowerPoint

The BBC reminds us today that Microsoft’s PowerPoint (love it or loathe it) is twenty five years old.

Two Slaw contributors (Dan P and Simon C) have a sideline as the PowerPoint Twins and have illustrated the best and worst of the programme to audiences in three countries. We can dazzle you with the absolute worst slides you’ll ever see in two minutes,

Here is the handout from a presentation in Mexico and Simon F’s ambiguous relationship with the pervasive presentation tool.

Notwithstanding Edward Tufte and David Byrne, PowerPoint is here to stay.

Of course what every PowerPoint . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

URL Shorteners Unite

The Christian Science Monitor reports today that a number of URL shortening services have agreed to cooperate by sending data to a common storage mechanism created as an archive for this purpose.

There has been a good deal of discussion — and concern — recently about the fate of shortened hyperlinks should another shortening service close down, as did not long ago. The hope is that this archive, currently hosted and managed by Gnip, will preserve crucial linkage between long and short URLs even despite the failure of a service.

The CSM reports that “, Twitter’s default link . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

From Galaxy (1954)

We discovered an early description of a computerized online retrieval system in the short story “How-2” by science fiction writer Clifford D. Simak. The story was published in Galaxy November, 1954.

One morning, a lawyer discovers a box with a do-it-yourself kit inside. Following the instructions for use, he builds a robot – one whose design happens to be misdelivered from the future. The lawyer is to appear in court. But his friendly robot spends the night before the trial building a new robot – a lawyer-robot.

‘”(A lawyer robot) with a far greater memory capacity than any

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology